Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. As always. Seriously, this fact is never going to change.
A/N: 589 words. NaruSaku, because they deserve it. It's not fun seeing all the Sakura hate on this site, y'know. I was writing a different NaruSaku drabble, but it was giving me fits (yeah, a drabble was givnig me fits. I fail as a writer) so here's a different one. Anyway, most people have probably already read the poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost, but if you haven't, go read it. And yeah, Naruto is the golden boy of the series, so, you know, play on words type of deal.
"Hey Sakura," Naruto says, sitting at Ichiraku's. His brows are knit together; she expects the next thing out of his mouth to be a question.
"What is it that you like about Sasuke?"
She stiffens, thinking of what to say. Ino would tell him he was smart, good-looking, cool. Sakura would list all those things, too, if she was still her twelve-year old self, before she knew of his past. Maybe before he betrayed the village.
Sasuke was smart, the model student according to his grades and talent, but he was brooding, constantly pushing others away.
Naruto gives a pensive stare. "Is it his personality?"
Sakura doesn't know why, but she laughs without restraint, her voice resounding in the night air, crisp like the evening wind.
"No, not really," she assures as she thinks about why she's so amused by this. "I don't think so." Sasuke, after all, had all the qualities of a lone wolf. He would deliberately push everyone away from him.
"Then, what is it about him?"
"Well," she pauses, "he had this air of coolness to him... His confidence?"
Naruto frowns, the corners of his mouth pulling down his whisker-marked cheeks.
Sakura can only give a half-hearted chuckle this time. "What is it that I like about him, I wonder...?"
"Maybe I ought to try being a little cooler," Naruto grumbles, discontent. "Change myself a little..."
His blonde hair which ruffled in the night breeze seemed to shine like gold underneath the lights of the parlor. His blue eyes glowed; swirls of the clear morning sky's brilliance. Down the street, she can hear the jingle of wind chimes, serenading them under the blanket of the night.
"No, don't," Sakura blurts out, feeling starstruck. "Don't change."
He presses his lips together into a thin line, a genuine look of confusion on his face.
The corners of her lips pull upwards, forming a small smile that Naruto finds a subtle radiance in. The glass of water in her hands cools her fingertips.
"It's hard to find a person like you in this world, Naruto," she murmurs. There's an underlying sadness to her tone, but the blonde-haired boy doesn't know why. "I think I'm very lucky — I think the entire village is lucky — to know you." Her reflection stares back at her in the water.
There's a swelling in his chest. He opens his mouth to say something — anything — but the words aren't coming to him. His teammate turns to him, an earnest glimmer in her emerald eyes.
"So please," implores Sakura, "please stay the way you are."
Naruto scratches his head. He's not as cool as Sasuke, not as smart, not as talented. He's realized that maybe he can't win; he's got an unrequited love lingering in the back of his mind and it's a lopsided match. He's not one to back down from any fight, and he's an underdog where ever he goes, but this time, he's so outmatched, he doesn't think he can win. Even so, maybe it's not such a lose-lose situation in the end.
He just has to ask her to know.
"Will you be happy if I do?" he asks.
She smiles from ear to ear.
"Nothing would make me happier."